WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

...THE BELL TOLLS FOR THEE

TIME PERIODS TOLLED ...film at 11.

Supreme Court of Florida
No. AOSC17-71

IN RE: EMERGENCY REQUEST TO EXTEND TIME PERIODS UNDER ALL FLORIDA RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY IN THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER

WHEREAS on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, through Friday, September 15, 2017, Hurricane Irma caused the closure of the courts in Miami-Dade County in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit; and
WHEREAS this emergency also may have temporarily impeded the ability of attorneys, litigants, witnesses, jurors, and others in the performance of their duties and obligations with respect to many legal processes throughout the State of Florida; and
WHEREAS it is the intent of this order to equitably relieve parties in all pending cases by extending legal time limits that they otherwise would have been unable to meet due to the emergency; and
WHEREAS it is the intent of this order to suspend the speedy trial procedure during the times stated herein in the manner described in Sullivan v. State, 913 So.
2d 762 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005), and State v. Hernandez, 617 So. 2d 1103 (Fla. 3rd

DCA 1993);

THEREFORE, pursuant to the administrative authority conferred upon me by article V, section 2, of the Florida Constitution and Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.205(a)(2)(B)(iv),
IT IS ORDERED that:

  1. In Miami-Dade County, all time limits prescribed or allowed by rule of procedure, court order, statutes applicable to court proceedings, or otherwise pertaining to court proceedings are extended from the close of business on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, until the close of business on Monday, September 18, 2017.
  2. All time limits involving the speedy trial procedure, in criminal and juvenile court proceedings, are suspended from the close of business on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, until the close of business on Monday, September 18, 2017.
  3. The extension of time periods under this order shall apply only when the last day of those periods falls within the time extended. The suspension of time limits under the speedy trial procedure restores additional days equal to the number stated herein.
  4. This Court recognizes that there may be instances where, because of this emergency, these and other time limits applicable to matters in or outside
Miami-Dade County could not be met even upon application of the periods stated above. If such a claim is made, it shall be resolved by the court in which jurisdiction is vested on a case-by-case basis when a party demonstrates that the lack of compliance with requisite time periods was directly attributable to this emergency and that equitable remedy is required.
DONE AND ORDERED at Tallahassee, Florida, on September 19, 2017.

image
Chief Justice Jorge Labarga

Supreme Court Seal
ATTEST:

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John A. Tomasino, Clerk of Court

END OF DAYS AND WITHER THE KEYS CASES?

The End Of Days? 

We have a false prophet speaking at the league of nations. 

Item: On Monday a massive earthquake struck Mexico City. In in 1985, on the exact same day, a massive earthquake struck Mexico City. 

Item: In the last two weeks, two Cat 5 hurricanes have struck the United States (Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands being part of the US). 

After he headed the Manhattan Project which successfully developed the atomic bomb, the physicist Robert Oppenheimer quoted the Bhagavad Gita and said "Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds."

A thoughtful quote from a brilliant and thoughtful man. 

The President of the United States, traditionally (but no longer) the leader of the free world, had this quip when addressing the United Nations: He called the leader of North Korea "Rocket Man." An insult he has previously and churlishly hurled on Twitter. 
It may have caused Elton John to smile, but it certainly is clear that POTUS is neither thoughtful nor smart. No Robert Oppenheimer he. 


WHITER THE FLORIDA KEYS CASES?

All defendants who were in custody in Monroe County were moved to other facilities. Mostly in West Palm Beach. 
Query: Are these people in custody being given access to courts? What if they are entitled to a bond reduction? Are Keys Judges sitting? And if so, where? And if so, how does one schedule a case before them? 

We've received a few emails asking these questions, and for once, we don't have any answers. 

From occupied and battered Florida, enjoy the power that has been restored. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

CRIMINAL COURT SCHEDULE - WEEK OF 9/18/17


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

CRIMINAL COURT SCHEDULE FOR WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 .....

Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division, Judge Sayfie, has issued the following information as to what we can expect to take place at the GJB next week:

The cases from our Irma days will be reset as follows: 

1. The approximately 500 in custody arraignments that will be split between Monday 9/18 & Tuesday 9/19.  

2. All AC's will be set Monday 9/19. (we know, this must be a typo)

3. No inmates will be transported for your regular Monday 9/18 trial calendar. If you need an inmate for a speedy case then please let your individual CO know to transport the inmate for Tuesday. Please avoid this if possible because Tuesday's calendars will still be heavy with make-up arraignments.  

4. All trials set 9/11 or on any of the missed days will be set on Wednesday, 9/20 so you can address the trial status/date. Remember that no defendants will have notice. And in many cases the attorneys may not be aware either. These cases are printing so that you can reset them as you wish.  

5. All out of custody arraignments are being reset with time for notice, so likely 2 weeks from today or Monday.  

6. All other cases that were printing for other hearings that did not have future dates already will be printing during the first week of October. This will give you and the attorneys the opportunity to move the date to an earlier date if you wish.
 
Also, a reminder that the courthouse is Closed on Thursday, September 21, for the observance of Rosh Hashanah.
 
CAPTAIN OUT .....
 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

RECOVERY

UPDATE 3: COURTS RE-OPENING MONDAY

FDC OPENS FOR CLIENT VISITATION SATURDAY


UPDATE #2 : STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS CLOSED THROUGH FRIDAY-POSSIBLE MONDAY OPEN.

Date line: Ritz Carlton, Washington DC. 
September 12, 2017. 

POWER: FPL says all east coast power restored by this Sunday. All power in West Miami to be restored by this Friday. The farther east you go, the more power lines are down and the longer it will take. 

COURTS:
SAO SUFFERS DAMAGE AND FLOODING:

Our intrepid state attorney is seeking temporary office space, as her office (part or all- it's not yet clear) is damaged/flooded. 

State courts remained closed on Wednesday AND WILL REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH THIS WEEK. But the REGJB also suffered flooding and damage so we think - highlight THINK state courts will not re-open this week. 

Federal court is also closed through the end of the week. Support personnel, including those who stamp "denied" on most motions, are being asked to report to work on Thursday if they are able.  refuses to confirm or deny if they will be open Wednesday: Their attitude is "you should know". We don't.

Monroe County Courts closed...indefinitely. 

OUR VIEW:
Here is our community's attitude: 
The Storm came. The rain came. The wind came. We all are in this together. We are damaged. We shall rebuild. We are all strong and resilient. 

We're going to use a legal phrase here: BULLSHIT!

Miami survived only by sheer luck (which we had discerned by analyzing weather patterns days before the storm, about which we told you about BEFORE supposedly expert forecasters did. See our last two posts). 

This community would have been destroyed beyond repair within a year if a Cat4+ had hit us directly. 

Our shelters were in disarray. Staff didn't show up, requiring police officers to run shelters, which took them from the streets where they needed to be. 

Our governor was (is, and continues to be) a moron. We watched (from the relative safety of our suite at the Ritz in DC, where we are rather well known) as on Friday night, the governor said during a state-wide televised press conference- and we quote "get out now!
Get out to where? Anyone in Miami on Friday would not have had enough gas to get to the Florida/Georgia border, and many of those who fled Miami, fled to....Naples, Sarasota, and Tampa. Enough said. 

We have heard of individual acts of altruism and that in many neighborhoods neighbors did in fact help their neighbors. But make no mistake, people in many depressed neighborhoods are suffering without food, water and power. It is almost impossible to sleep in 90 degree heat and no breeze, which is the type of weather that follows large storms. 

On an individual basis, police officers, fire rescue, nurses, surgeons, hospital staff and doctors all left their families to serve our community during the storm. For that we should all be thankful. The next time you see a police officer, thank him or her for serving during the run up and after the storm while you were getting supplies and taking care of your family and home. 

But our elected officials were bumbling fools. Moe, Larry, and Curly could have done a better job. The Mayor of Miami, during a press conference when he was taking criticism for the fact that shelters were not opened or were not staffed, felt it important to tell everyone his home was without power. As if that mattered. 

We survived this storm only because it missed us, not because our elected officials did their jobs in a competent matter. 

For the future, those of you who remained behind, consider this- during the next run up, do everything a week early. Board up your house before there are lines at Ace and Home Depot. Drive out of Florida before there are gas lines. Book tickets to fly to Uncle Ernie in Akron, before the flights fill up. 

If this storm has taught us anything, it has reminded us that they are very very powerful and deadly, and that we cannot rely on our officials to make wise decisions and run government in a manner that will assist us in a time of need. 

We are fortunate to have access to private travel and be able to afford a few weeks at a luxury hotel. Not everyone can do that. The key to surviving these storms, is the key to winning cases: prepare, prepare, prepare. 

Stay safe. We wish all of our dear readers a quick recovery with power restored. 

Your Humble srvt,
H. Rumpole, Blogger. 

Friday, September 08, 2017

RUMPOLE AND IRMA

Friends, colleagues, dear readers of our blog. There is nothing funny about the threat to our home town. 
Although we hold hope that this storm will not turn on a dime as predicted and head north, no matter how it goes we will get hit. 
Many of us will suffer. 
This is the time to think clearly. 
Be kind to neighbors and friends and strangers in need. 
Help each other and spread good karma and together we can overcome what none of us can individually. 

After the storm, we will be down for some time, pending internet and power. 
But we will be out in our community, a shovel or a saw in hand, helping those who need help. 

Think clearly. 
Act rationally. 
Don't panic. 
Be safe. 
You can always buy another TV, car, or house. 
Life is precious. 

We are thinking of you, friends. Be safe. 

Your humble blogger who has always known it was a privilege to have readers. 

See You In Court, sooner than you think. 

H. Rumpole, poor country lawyer. 

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

IRMA HURRICANE LIST

Update: This is an irreverent post. Please review the preceding post for some sad news about the tragic passing of attorney J.C. Dugue and leave your remembrances there if you wish.  

Courts  remain scheduled (which we pronounce as the King's english dictates, shed/ul/eld )for closure Thursday and Friday(Fed and State, unless you have something scheduled before Judges Martinez or Huck: a little wind and rain never caused them to continue anything). 
August marked the beginning of the employment of new PDs and ASAs. Many of whom are from out of town. This is their first hurricane. Here is our famous storm prep list   ( (c) Justice Building Blog, 2008, all rights reserved) along with some common sense Dos and Don'ts:

DO: go swimming only with a buddy;
DON'T: try and serve subpoenas on Miami Beach Police without a mask, fin and snorkel. To our friends on the Beach: see ya, wouldn't want to be ya

DO: Announce ready for trial today for all cases set for next two weeks.
DON'T:  Take your files home. If the PDs or ASA offices are wacked, you have proof of why you need a continuance. 

DO: Go to Publix at least once and rip a bottle of water out of a kid's hand. Also go to a gas station, wait on line, and then act puzzled at the credit card swipe screen until everyone behind you beeps. These are classic Miami hurricane activities that are a right of passage for new-comers.  
DON'T: Return any gun fire. You may hit an FPL worker hiding in the gas station cafe avoiding work. 

DO: Follow all tips from our Governor, including his directive not to mention "Global Warming" in emails.
DON'T: Evacuate to the Bahamas, or Houston. 

Breaking: POTUS 45 tweets Irma "FAKE NEWS" and blames "Obama/Clinton/Comey/Dems" for path of storm.

Hurricane Supplies: (in order of importance)
1: One Bottle Don Julio 1942 Tequilla
2: Three bottles of any: 2010 Opus One Napa Propriety Blend (in an emergency, the 2008 will do); Lewis Cab 2013, Napa Valley, Sequoia Grove Cabium, 2009, Napa Valley.
3: One gallon of water per person, per day.
5. One bag of organic apples.
6. One box Annie's Organic Granola bars, mixed.
7. One copy of Les Miserables, or The Grapes of Wrath, or 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or either of 11/23/63 or IT by Stephen King, both of which are vastly superior to The Stand.
8. Box of candles and matches.
9. Limes (see 1, above).
10. One week supply toilet paper.
11. Battery powered radio. Gen Y'ers and Millennials take note: you cannot listen to radio on your phone when the internet is out. You must watch a you-tube video on the basic principles of operating a radio. You also cannot stock up on ice cream. Just trust us on this one. And Uber Eats, et.al., will not be available for a few days. So get some dry staples in the house. Google cereal and buy some.*
12. Oranges, grapes, pretzels, chips. 

Above all else, unlike POTUS45, use common sense and stay safe. 

Because we know that long-time and careful readers turn here first for the real, non-fake news they need to survive the storm, practice law, and collect a few fees along the way, we will be on the blog all Friday evening and Saturday until (and IF) the storm knocks us off the internet. As we hinted at yesterday, and the reports are indicating today, Irma is s..l..o..w..l..y moving east by north east and that is good news. 

From occupied America and storm threatened Florida, fight the wind and the rain and the power. 



* This is a true fact. General Foods is experiencing a drastic decrease in cereal consumption by people between 10-20. Apparently market research shows that millennials don't like to spend time on cleaning the bowl after eating cereal. 


J.C.DUGUE HAS PASSED AWAY

Long time Miami lawyer and REGJB regular J.C. Dugue, passed away suddenly on September 5, 2017 of a heart attack. 

Judge Glick wrote this in the comments section:
Just finished a trial with him. A fine lawyer, a true gentleman and always had a smile on his face. RIP.
S. Glick


And we received this wonderful comment as well:
EX Black Jack Dealer said...

This is sad and shocking news. Unfortunately the blog has become an obituary section lately. I first meet JC in early 1994 right after I became an attorney. We both worked at the old HRS ( now Dept of Children & Families) where I first meet him. We remained friends since then. JC has just come over from the SAO in Lee County. He was a good guy and almost always had a good cheerful demeanor who was very funny and almost like the life of the party if you knew him. I just worked a case with him as I brought him into a case with co-defendants. JC was the type of lawyer that was always willing to go the extra mile for his clients and financially speaking took the short end of the stick in terms of being paid for his work on many occasions and did not bitch or complain. He just did his work.

JC loved sports, particularly basketball, and really enjoyed his children. If anyone has any funeral or memorial service info please post it.

To all his friends and family, particularly his children, I send my condolences. Although his life was shorter than it should have been he lived a worthwhile and fulfilling life. RIP my friend.
 
Wednesday, September 06, 2017 2:40:00 PM


We didn't know Mr. Dugue well, but a quick Google of his name showed a dedicated lawyer with some very nice victories under his belt. 

Please post your remembrances here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

SUBPOENA STANDOFF AND A HURRICANE SONG

UPDATE: STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS WILL BE CLOSED THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. 
ALSO UPDATED: THE SUBPOENA HEARING WILL BE WEDNESDAY AT 10:00 AM BEFORE JUDGE BARAKAT.
(We see something in the upper atmosphere of Canada which will move this storm away just far enough to brush us. You heard it here first.) 

More importantly than court's closing is the availability of Starbucks. We will keep you updated on those openings/closings.  

The City Of Miami Beach is not accepting subpoenas, otherwise validly served, for police officers for depositions on their day off. 

The statute below,  is unclear

The lawyer who has the issue (rhymes with Batalano) has a motion scheduled today (Monday) before Judge Barakat. Apparently in this case there are six officers with six different days off requiring the lawyer to set them on six different days, incurring six separate court reporter appearance fees. 
Such are the problems from which Solomonic Judicial wisdom appears. We shall see. 

48.031
 (4)(a) Service of a criminal witness subpoena upon a law enforcement officer or upon any federal, state, or municipal employee called to testify in an official capacity in a criminal case may be made as provided in subsection (1) or by delivery to a designated supervisory or administrative employee at the witness's place of employment if the agency head or highest ranking official at the witness's place of employment has designated such employee to accept such service. However, no such designated employee is required to accept service:
1. For a witness who is no longer employed by the agency at that place of employment;
2. If the witness is not scheduled to work prior to the date the witness is required to appear; or
3. If the appearance date is less than 5 days from the date of service.
The agency head or highest ranking official at the witness's place of employment may determine the days of the week and the hours that service may be made at the witness's place of employment


IRMA:
Before most of the ASAs and a few of our Judges were born, Miami had a long-time radio host named Mike Reineri.  Whenever a hurricane would threaten, Reineri would sing a little song "We don't want no hurricanes coming round here." And it worked all through the seventies and eighties, right up until Hurricane  Andrew. 

So take a moment today, pull your eyes away from Channel Seven's apocalyptic predictions- the stock videos of long lines at Home Depot, the empty shelves at Publix,  the fights at petrol stations, and close your eyes for a moment and sing a little song: "We don't want no hurricanes coming round here." 

And maybe, just maybe, if you watch Fox news and believe in the power of prayer....the President will resign!  

COURTHOUSE SHUTDOWN
Irma will be approaching Cuba on Friday, which we think is a good day to shut down the State and Federal Courts and give employees time to make final preparations. While we don't wish destruction on anyone, the mountains of Cuba could do lots of damage TO the storm, and lessen its impact wherever it makes landfall. 



While initial projections had it turning north and perhaps impacting the Carolinas, it now appears Irma could churn through the Florida Straits, brush Miami and the Keys, and hit the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen with the Gulf's warm waters (which, according to the White House has NOTHING to do with global warming, which is a Chinese fake-news fraud designed to ...never mind, it just gets weirder from here) and slam into Mexico or Texas. 

Nothing about Irma is good. Stand by; prepare; sing the song; read the blog; and hope for the best. 


It's gratifying to see that the City Of Miami Beach has taken our motto to heart and is fighting the (subpoena) power!

Friday, September 01, 2017

WHAT IS RUMPOLE READING?

And where is Rumpole eating? 
First, as we head into the last holiday weekend of the summer, we need to update our long time and careful readers on what the best legal blogger and social commentator in the nation is reading. 

"Dereliction Of Duty" by H.R. McMaster. When our current national security director was just a scholar/solider he undertook a doctoral thesis about the Vietnam war that because a fascinating book. Want to know how we stumbled into defeat in Vietnam? The politicians and the military didn't talk to each other and manipulated facts behind each others backs. 

"Giant of the Senate" by Al Franken because we read everything he writes and once again he doesn't disappoint. 

"The Force" by Don Winslow. A NYPD beach read for this weekend if you just want to tune out and drink some cerveza by the pool. (Tequilla for us). 

Have you read the Richard Stark novels? Crime noir 1960's including some cool Miami scenes. Pick up any of the series and enjoy. 

If you haven't read "Shattered" detailing the loss of HRC and the country to the current POTUS, now is the time to rip through the book this weekend and find out just how we came to be in this unfortunate situation and how Trump won. 
And because of that victory detailed in Shattered, we now have a situation where a  madman controls nuclear weapons in the Korean conflict (and Kim Jong-un is involved as well.)    

Where is Rumpole eating? 
The best new and exciting restaurant in the county is The Grey, in Savannah, Georgia, where the chef turned an abandoned (and segregated) bus station into a southern food wonderland. "Comeback sauce" can't be missed. Pork belly shows up everywhere, and where you least expect it, and the collard greens are smoked. Need we say more? 

Readers know that we often find ourselves in the Big Apple, and when in NYC we now find Rumpole dining (when he can pull himself away from the noddle shops that dot every corner) at Superiority Burger, where nothing on the menu is more than nine bucks (judges take note!), and the "megamouth" is our fav burger of the summer and is vegetarian to boot. In fact everything is vegie at Superiority and most can be made vegan!

Enjoy the last holiday weekend of the summer. Think of your country men and women suffering in Houston and the surrounding areas and donate to your fav charity. They need dry clothes desperately. And when you're done being charitable and altruistic, then remember you live in Occupied America and Fight the Power!


(and remember "boards don't hit back"). 
Hands down the coolest guy of the 1970s....Well, maybe him and Ali. And Noam Chomsky of course.